Kabaddi is a combative sport, with seven players on each side. The core idea of the game is to score points by raiding into the opponent’s court and touching as many defensive players as possible without getting caught on a single breath. The game is played for a period of 40 minutes with a 5 minutes break in between the halves.
The origin of the game dates back to pre-historic times played in different forms. The modern Kabaddi game is played all over India and parts of South Asia since 1930. The All India Kabaddi Federation was formed in the year 1950 to look after the promotion of the game. The Senior National championship began in 1952. The new body, Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) came into existence from the year 1972. It affiliates to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with a mission to popularize the game in India as well as neighboring countries of Asia.
India National kabaddi team represents India in international kabaddi. India won Gold medals for Kabaddi in the Asian Games in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Furthermore, India dominates the Kabaddi world and has won all the three Kabaddi World Cups defeating Iran every single time in the finals. With the 4th Edition of the Kabaddi World Cup arriving within a year, let us see the major Domestic Kabaddi tournaments in India.
Pro Kabaddi League
Since its launch in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League has taken over domestic kabaddi in India. The Pro Kabaddi league is an initiative by Mashal Sports and STAR India. It is the only league to bring the franchise-based format to India’s indigenous sport of kabaddi. The league revolutionizes the sport with stunning innovations, which has made it into an aspirational sport for players and fans alike. As a result, it has witnessed tremendous growth over the past four seasons.
The tournament features 12 teams from all over the country- Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Dabang Delhi K.C, Gujarat Fortunegiants, Haryana Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Patna Pirates, Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalavias, Telugu Titans, U Mumba, and U.P.Yodha. These teams face each other in a double round robin, and the semifinals and finals.
Patna Pirates won the 2017 Pro Kabaddi league, therefore, becoming the most successful team in the history of Pro Kabaddi league.
National Kabaddi Championships
The National Kabbadi Championships is the oldest recognized Kabaddi tournament in India. Since its inauguration way back in 1952, The National Championship has been the major Kabaddi tournament in India. It is an annual tournament and various State federations send their teams to participate and win the prestigious tournament. There are various categories- Sub Junior, Junior and Senior in both boys and girls`. All three happen at different times during the year. The tournament follows a Round Robin as well as playoffs format.
Sports Authority of India came first in both boys and girls, during the 29th National Sub-Junior Kabbadi Championships in November 2017, Jharkhand and also in the 44th National Junior National Kabaddi Championships in December 2017, Odisha. Maharashtra(men) and Himachal Pradesh(women) bags first place in the 65th Senior National Kabaddi Championship in Demeber 2017 – January 2018 Hyderabad.
Since its Inauguration in 2013, the Federation Cup has become one of the recognized Kabaddi tournaments in India. Kabaddi also like Basketball pits the top 8 placed teams alongside the host team in a Round-robin and Play-off format. Just like the National Championships, it is also an annual tournament and has various categories- Sub Junior, Junior and Senior in both boys and girls. All three happen at different times during the year.
While Tamil Nadu and Haryana come first in the 5th Junior Federation Cup for Men and Women in March 2018, Kakri, Uttar Pradesh. Services and Indian Railway bag top spots at 3rd Senior Federation Cup for Men and Women in February 2018, Mumbai.
Beach National Kabaddi Championship
The Beach National Kabaddi Championship was an out-of-the-box initiative by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India. Beach Kabaddi follows the same rules of normal Kabaddi. The only exception is the surface of playing and the number of players. The beach Kabaddi completed its 10th edition in recently in February. However, the 11th edition is scheduled to be played this year itself. The competition is only for the Senior category for both Men and Women. Uttarakhand Kabaddi Association will be hosting the 11th Beach National Kabaddi Championship. Although there are no confirmations on the date, all we know is it will happen within this year.
Andra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh won the 10th Beach Senior National Federation Cup for Men and Women in February 2018, Andra Pradesh.
Departmental National Kabaddi Championship
The Departmental National Kabaddi Championship features various Government Sector Industries/Departments battle each other. After its Inaugural season in 2009, twenty teams participated and since then it has become an annual tournament. During the 9th edition, 16 teams faced each other and Air India Sports Division ran winners of the Tournament.
Karnataka Amateur Kabaddi Association is hosting the upcoming edition of the Departmental National Kabaddi Championships in Bangalore. Although there are no confirmations on the date, all we know is it will happen within this year.
Kabaddi in India has been a popular sport since Ancient times. Although India remains on top of the world. The sport of Kabaddi has just started to grow globally and India is pioneering its growth. These tournaments are a reason for the growth of many Kabaddi stars like Ajay Thakur, Rahul Chaudhari, Anup Kumar, Pradeep Narwal, Manjeet Chillar and many others. Along with the domestic competition, the Pro Kabaddi league gains a lot of International attention.